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Sakura Wars: So Long My Love Q&A
Posted on March 13, 2010 by Oscar Gonzalez




Sakura Wars is another series of games that popular in the Japan, but not so in the U.S. It's comes as no surprise that a game about an all female task force called the "Flower Division" was thought not to work in the U.S. That was the case until the latest game of the series, Sakura Wars: So Long My Love. Scheduled to be released on the PS2 and Wii by NIS America, Sakura Wars SLML is a turn-based RPG that is actually set in New York City. To answer some questions for fans we have Nao Zook(PR Manager), Ryuta Sata(Translator/ Localization Coordinator) and Nick Doerr(Script writer/ editor).

O.G.: Do the English voice actors also sing the songs in the game?

Nao: Haha, if we could do it that would’ve been so cool! Well, even if they didn’t sing songs in the game, all the voice actors and actresses did awesome voice work in the game, so I hope you all will enjoy it.

O.G.: Since the game is going to be on the Wii and PS2, will there be any differences in how they play, such as with the Wii's motion controls?

Nao: The Wii version will play with both the Wii remote & nunchuck or the classic controller; whichever you prefer. When you play with the classic controller it will be basically the same as the PlayStation 2 control layout. And when you play with the Wii remote & nunchuck you will have a more unique layout. Some segments of the game can be controlled using the motion pointer or an analog stick for the Wii, but these are minor. Overall, the layout of the buttons may be different, but no functionality is lost between controllers.

O.G.: Several fans have noted that some "Romando" codes have been changed. How will NISA make the rest of the codes public? What can these codes give the player?

Nao: I’m glad that this came up. We will be releasing codes to the public through the official Sakura Wars website soon. These codes will unlock some pictures, ringtones you can use in the game, and more. Please visit SakuraWars.us for more information!

O.G.: What were voice actors' impressions / experience with this game in comparison to other games they've voiced?

Nao: Let me ask our localization team about their impressions. Ryuta Sato is the translator and localization coordinator for Sakura Wars. He directed the voice acting for the game, and he closely worked with the actors and actresses. Here he is.

Ryuta: We were lucky enough to work with actors and actresses who have authentic accentsfor example, Gemini’s Texan accent is authentic, and the actor of the Japanese medieval overlord has a slight and genuine Far Eastern flavor in his voice, as you can tell. It’s thanks to Bang Zoom Entertainment, which held thorough auditions for us. I hope the overlord’s exotic accent will work well to make him sound more frightening; as scary, natural disasters are named after their Oriental names: typhoon, tsunami, kamikaze etc. Other than that, we have a Russian accent, a light Spanish accent and some others. I hope users will enjoy them. For Mr. Wang, we had the actor listen to Bruce Lee’s interview before the sessions and imitate his accent. Besides, when actors and actresses are calling out their characters’ supermove names, we had them wield weapons: a wooden sword, two guns and a whip. The voice actors and actresses were all cooperative and willing to help us make our game as good as we could. I’m very thankful to them for that. That was really a fun experience. We’ve learned a lot from it. Hopefully, this experience will be utilized in our future titles.

O.G.: Have there been any gameplay-based changes aside from the Romando codes?

Nao: There is no change in the game play. However, there are some changes in characters’ names and other terms. For example, Sagiitta Weinberg is Cheiron Archer in the English language version.

O.G.: Some gamers mention that the Japanese version of the game had some bugs in it. Did NISA fix these bugs for the localized release?

Nao: I wasn’t aware of bugs in the Japanese version of Sakura Wars. We fixed all the game system bugs we found, and that is what we always do. However, there were some issues in our past titles. So we took almost double the time for this title's debug process to make sure we fixed every bug we found. So I believe it is really solid.

O.G.: How does the battle system function? Is it turn-based?

Nao: It is a real-time, turn-based RPG. You do have your turns and you choose what action you want to take, but you can move freely and when you select attack, it will be executed right away. So you have your time to think about what you want to do, but once you decide your action it activates the action immediately.

O.G.: Considering the rarity of dating games in the West, was it odd or difficult to localize a game that had dating as a significant aspect of its gameplay?

Nao: Let me bring out Ryuta once again, and Nick Doerr, the editor/ script writer.

Ryuta: Fortunately, I’m Japanese, so I sort of know of this subculture. For the localization of this kind of game, you are supposed to fall in love with every single heroine, right? I tried to find their charms and figure out if I was their fan, how I would find them attractive. So my localization process started with playing the game with each heroine. Unfortunately, however, it couldn’t be helped that I ended up somewhat partial. There were heroines I really like and ones I like less. Hopefully, it is not showing up in our localization. I believe at least I know each character’s charms and weak points well.

Nick: It may be a sort of blunt response, but I don’t think it’s too difficult. The characters have their base personalities from the Japanese version, so their intrinsic charms are already present. It’s bringing those out in English that presents a challenge and one I think we overcame rather well. Each character is very unique and distinct, and dare I say, will cater to every sort of dating-sim fan.

O.G.: Most releases of Sakura Wars in the west - such as the anime series are focused on girls from the Japanese branch of the flower division troupe, like Sakura. Will fans of those movies or shows be in for any special surprises?

Nao: Hmmm, well you will see some familiar faces from the Anime and previous Sakura Taisen series for sure. But even if you are not familiar with the Sakura Taisen series you will not be lost, so don’t be afraid to give this very unique strategy RPG a try! I hope the fans of the Sakura Taisen anime series also enjoy this Sakura Wars game!

I'd like to thank the staff at NIS America to take time out to talk about Sakura Wars: So Long My Love which will be released on March 30 for both Wii and PlayStation 2.

- O.G.

Oscar Gonzalez - Editor-in-Chief og (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

What's your most anticipated game for March?

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation
Tom Clancy's The Division
Hitman
EA Sports UFC 2
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus
Samurai Warriors 4 Empires
MLB The Show 16
Pokken Tournament
Killer Instinct Season 3
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